Side Effects of Facebook Marketplace

The first time I listed something on the market I was hooked. It was my Fitbit Versa 2, it sold in an hour and it was a quick and painless transaction. Forget that I originally paid $199 for it and only sold it for $65, and the Versa 3 hadn’t even come out yet. Didn’t matter. That high was enough to keep me selling. I did some spring cleaning and gathered everything that I was no longer using and listed it all.

I should’ve known the watch was a fluke.

The first item I sold after the watch was my tactical vest. OK, I use that thing for CrossFit so I assumed that fellow CrossFitters would be the ones bidding on it. What actually happened was I sold it to a guy who is either a doomsday prepper or is going to be a part of the next coup. I should’ve known since he asked me what kind of plates were in it then sent me names of bulletproof plates, which I didn’t look up until AFTER the sale. I told him they were Rogue which I hope he knows ARE NOT bulletproof (in case he’s reading this which I doubt because my blog isn’t decorated with flags or bald eagles). Anyway, this leads me to my first side effect: paranoia.

Ever since that encounter I’m weary of everyone I’m selling to. It’s so bad that I felt the need to vet people when it came to the sale of my waffle iron. And even then someone haggled me over the $10 price tag. It reminded me about the time I was in Chinatown in New York and saw people haggling over fake brand name bags, which I later found out is normal, which makes me really fucking terrible at this. 

And I’m only getting worse. I have a jacket that had 2 people interested: one whose profile picture weirded me out and another who I won’t sell to because it involves shipping. I’m barely capable of dropping off an Amazon return Kohl’s.

I have a purse I’m trying to sell and so far vetting hasn’t helped because they’re all flaking. One woman kept putting off meeting me so I canceled with her and agreed to sell it to a woman who said she would meet me this weekend assuming she got approval from her doctor to leave the house, and now she’s ghosting me too (not literally though, I hope). This has all led to the 2nd side effect: buyers remorse. 

I have piles of stuff that I’m selling that I have no idea why I purchased in the first place. And everything is being sold for way less than I purchased it. I feel like a complete asshole, which leads me to the final side effect: regret.

Not just regretting buying shit I didn’t need but also making the mistake of telling my mom about my new side hustle. After 13 years of hanging on to some collectibles of my deceased grandmother, my mom has decided that now is the time to let them go. Now that she has a way to get rid of them.

Last week she came to visit me and while she was here, dropped off a huge tote full of Egyptian collectibles from the 80s and 90s. Several pieces of Egyptian figurines, all surrounded in bubble wrap with about a roll of tape around each individual piece.

It’s too much. I’m not unwrapping each individual item, photographing it, then listing them one at a time. I could do one big group pic and sell everything in bulk but that doesn’t eliminate the issue of unwrapping all of it. On top of that, these aren’t, like, authentic pieces. My grandma didn’t get them while backpacking through Africa. She got them from QVC while sitting in her sweats, so I don’t even know what the actual value of them are. 

The moral of the story is this: unless you’re ok with all of these side effects, don’t buy things you don’t need or absolutely love and can’t live without because you’ll end up like me – selling things on a platform you actually hate, probably providing items that will assist someone in making headlines for trying to overthrow the government. Or being haggled for $5. Either way, it’s not fun. 

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go. Someone just inquired about that purse so I need to jump before they lose interest. Real fun stuff. 

As seen on bad sitcoms

It all happened one day about a week before my father-in-law returned with Covid and a new girlfriend to give it to. I’m sitting in my office pretending to work before I need to head out to an event. As I’m reading god knows what, I hear a loud crash in the living room and immediately know what I’m about to walk into.

The loud crash was our very large clock. A large clock that hung above our mantle. The mantle that held my mother-in-law’s ashes. Or use to hold her ashes.

That’s right: use to. As in no longer was. As in, the cute glass Hobby Lobby canister that we placed her ashes in was now laying half broken, still in its decorative holder that contained the canister, on my dog’s food bowls.

Me, my lab, and my two min-pins stood there, staring at my MIL’s ashes piled up in their bowls and on their food mat.

I was supposed to be leaving my house in an hour. Typical.

After a few minutes of debating if this happened because my house is haunted or because my husband didn’t anchor the clock like he was supposed to, I grabbed a mask, some gloves, and began the process of picking glass and dog food out of my MIL’s ashes.

Oddly enough, this is something my MIL would’ve thought was hilarious.

I did not.

I stood there for an hour sifting through human remains like I was gold mining. I actually considered using our spaghetti strainer to expedite the process however, I had already racked up a good amount of items to throw out so I just kept digging. Also, I didn’t have anything to strain her into which led to my next conundrum: where would I put her until the next day when I could buy a new urn?

I’m a bad hostess so I don’t have random glass jars that can double as urns just lying around. And I couldn’t just leave her out, that would’ve been a little too B-movie for my liking. So I put her in the only place I could think of where she’d be safe and would prevent any sort of poltergeist activity:

A zip-lock bag.

The next day I squeezed in an extra errand into my schedule and purchased a new canister/urn to put her in – a plastic, shatter-proof one. I also placed her in an area that, if she were to fall again, would let me know our house is FOR SURE haunted.

But before I placed her in her new spot, there was the matter of pouring her ashes in the new canister. When I did, I noticed that some of them were clumped together, making them look like actual kitty litter. My OCD and conscience wouldn’t let me just leave them like that so I grabbed a butter knife (another casualty of this incident) and broke up the clumps.

I sealed the canister, gave it one more look-over, and that’s when I noticed it.

There was still a piece of dog food in the ashes.

I left it there.

I’d done all I could do and had thrown away all of the kitchen utensils I cared to throw away.

And so it remains because my husband won’t get it out either.

I’m pretty sure part 2 of this story will happen just in time for Halloween season.

Watch This, Not That | Kevin Can F**k Himself vs The Crew

I love a good underdog story. Did you know that right before she landed Schitt’s Creek, Annie Murphy was broke and on the verge of giving up acting? We almost didn’t have have the national treasure, which means we almost didn’t get to watch her in this incredible new show Kevin Can F**k Himself.

Holy shit, this show is amazing. Kevin Can F**k Himself rotates between corny CBS-type sitcom (husband and wife where the husband’s “jokes” are followed by a laugh track to drown out the sound of the channel changing) where Annie plays Allison, a dutiful housewife married to a chauvinistic prick and her real life where things are dark and she’s married to a chauvinistic prick.

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Immediately we see that she’s done with his shit, his dad’s shit, and the neighbors shit. Immediately, women everywhere feel seen. Anyway, after Allison discovers that her dream of owning a home is going to have to remain a dream thanks to Kevin blowing all of their savings, she decides there’s only one thing she can do: kill him. 

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Will she? I don’t know but he’s got it coming. Let’s find out together. Join the lot of us dealing with our own sitcom-Kevin and tune in to Kevin Can F**k Himself every Sunday on AMC at 8 p.m. central time.

Speaking of “sitcom-Kevins”, my Not That pick features a Kevin that I’m sure Kevin Can F**k Himself is mocking. I’m talking about Kevin James and the Not That I’m referring to is his Netflix series The Crew.

First off, The Crew uses a laugh track, and not in the mocking way that Kevin Can F**k Himself does. I mean in a way that they have no choice because it’s the only way they’ll get laughs. The Crew is about a NASCAR team crew chief (Kevin James) that sucks. And that’s about it. I guess. It’s all I could watch.

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The first episode was all over the place. We’re introduced to the shit driver, then there’s a party for the owner. One crew member is talking about squirrel sausage while another talks about fighting with his wife about bed shams. Then the owner retires and makes his twenty-something year-old daughter the new owner (duh) and then I’m assuming that’s when hilarity was supposed to ensue.

It never did.

In fact, the entire dialog between the actors sounds like they were just winging it. It was like Kevin James had to fulfill his contract obligations so Netflix gave him a set, some actors, a production team, and yelled “go!”. The outcome? Another unfunny Kevin.

Don’t be a Kevin. Get in on something funny, original, and fucking brilliant. Watch Kevin Can F**k Himself.

First pic by thewrap.com. Second pic by tumbral.com. Third pic by variety.com.

Freelancing for Dummies: When first world jobs collide with real workplace problems

Well, well, well, what do we have here? It appears we have a couple of “influencers” who’ve experienced a real world dilemma, bursting their dream job fantasy. Welcome to my world, it’s a bit of a pisser.

The other day while scrolling through Buzzfeed during a busy day of work, I came across a story on influencers not being paid by an influencer marketing agency (Christ, man) called Mediakix. My first thought was “that’s because it’s not a real job”. My next thought was “sucks to be them because this could potentially turn into a thing.”

If you’ve been following me you know how I feel about influencers: I don’t consider “influencing” – the act of getting people to follow you and do things you do or like because you appear cool but didn’t we get past this in high school I swear to god we never leave high school – to be an actual job. I don’t see what the appeal is over someone who’s only talent is posting different versions of the same photo with stupid captions.

HOWEVER, as stupid as I think it is they also get a tiny bit of acknowledgement that it is something and here’s why: there are plenty of gigs that started out as something that at one point probably didn’t make sense. If you go back to the beginning of typicaljenn.com, you’ll find posts where I’m ripping into social media marketers. I believe I referred to them as people who are really just unemployed, sitting on their couch playing that farm game on Facebook. Jump to about 6 years later and it’s part of what I do for a living (social media marketing not building a pretend farm).

I’m not above eating my words, I actually enjoy eating thank you very much.

Anyway, as fairytale as their job is, what’s not is their money problems and the fact that this isn’t anything new. Just like every meme on the internet, this bit has been done before. And unfortunately, I’ve witnessed it firsthand.

Back in the early 2000s, I was preparing to move and part of that process involved job hunting. I was moving to a bigger city than my hometown so instead of looking for a boring desk job, I sent my resume to a bunch of local talent agencies – and one actually called me back.

I interviewed for the receptionist position, got hired, and started my new, exciting, sure-to-make-me-famous job a week after moving. My first day began with me meeting the 3 people who worked in the office and being given my first important rule of the job: never let anyone talk to the bookkeeper.

For everyone out there, this is a red flag for ANY job you’re starting. But I was 20 at the time so I was like “ok cool”. I just figured she was busy doing number things. She was and those number things happened to be helping the owner of the agency embezzle from herself.

About a month after I started this job the bookkeeper quit without notice. I don’t know how long she’d been there but red flag number 2 is when the person handling the finances abruptly leaves. That left the owner to handle the books and that’s when things got really bad.

I would get, at minimum, 3 calls a day from talent asking where their money was, and this was after they’d waited standard 8 weeks for payment. I knew we’d gotten the money in but the owner was using it to pay her bills. And it’s not like we had talent booking feature films. They were booking, like, local modeling gigs and Church’s Chicken commercials. We weren’t making that influencer money.

At one point I had a woman tell me that our agency owed her over $10K. TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS. I know that’s chump change to some of the popular Insta-people but back then (shit, even now at least for me) 10 grand was a lot. And that was just ONE of the individuals we represented.

Every week the owner tried to get caught up but it wasn’t happening. On top of that, overhead was insanely high. I understood we needed to have some sort of presentation but I thought what effected our reputation the most was, you know, stealing from people.

We did have alternative ways of bringing in money but they weren’t anymore credible than the way the money was handled. The owner would convince people that they could be a model if they got head shots and took her modeling class, which people actually paid for.

I know we’re all about not body shaming but I’m telling you right now, you ain’t walking the Victoria’s Secret runway if you’re built like me (5’3″, thick legs from CrossFit, looks like a baby deer walking for the first time in heels – me and the deer). Watching the owner tell every person who came in our office they had a shot was disheartening at best, fucking criminal at worst.

To me, it’s no different than the assholes selling you on the MLM of the week, convincing you that you can actually make a decent living selling their shit online. You can’t. No, you can’t. End of discussion.

Anyway, in the article Buzzfeed reached out for comment and were told that Mediakix would no longer take contracts until the money was sorted out. I’m not sure how that would work for them. At the agency I was at, we constantly had to have money coming in to try and compensate everyone we owed. So if things are that bad off at Mediakix, I don’t know how you catch up not bringing anything in.

Again, I don’t know shit about this company or what got them into this conundrum so I’m not in a position to say if these influencers will get their money or not. I don’t work there, thank god because I looked at their website and it reminds me of the advertising agency I worked at where I once got in trouble for having a meeting in the “game room” because it prohibited 2 employees from playing ping pong. All I know is I’ve seen this before and it’s pretty shit cycle for everyone involved.

I myself have, on more than one occasion, been stiffed and it was a bag of bullshit. It even happened to me when I worked a for real job that required a W4. What I didn’t have that influencers do is a large platform with a huge following (for reasons I’ll never get – there’s no delineation between influencer accounts, they all look the same, people!).

So speak up. Put that shit out there. This goes for anyone who has a job, real or pretend. If you made an agreement and somebody owes you money, don’t let them skate on you. It is not your problem that they are bad with money management. It’s no different than promising someone work and not being able to do it because you couldn’t manage your time (something I’m also guilty of but that’s for another day). You’d be held accountable, right?

They should be held accountable too.

So go on. Use your social media power. You know, the same way you do when you convince people to buy that face serum that doesn’t work or when you make people think your life is glamorous because you posted a pic on a PJ but you actually just rented the PJ for an hour to take pics on. Like that. Go get ’em!

Watch This, Not That: His House vs. Things Heard and Seen

For the most part, the people in horror movies don’t have it so bad, with the exception of whatever’s trying to kill them. Whether they’re being chased by zombies, serial killers, or whatever demonic spirit they’ve let inhabit a doll, their story usually starts off in a nice house with a nice family and everyone including the toddlers have high-paying jobs. (No wonder the rest of the world hates us). So when Netflix released His House, a horror/drama hybrid, I was pleasantly surprised, and impressed.

His House tells the story of a couple seeking refuge after fleeing their native country: the war-torn South Sudan. They survive the horrendous ordeal and arrive in Britain, eventually receiving housing on the outskirts of London. But it’s not just a regular family home like all of the houses in Insidious. It’s a run down apartment that looks like it’s haunted by the last meth head that lived in it.

Meth head ghosts are the least of their concerns, though. Demons are what they’re fighting, and not just to save themselves but to save what they sacrificed everything for. What kind of demons are they? Who wins? You’ll have to watch this week’s Watch This to find out. Netflix’s His House will mess with your head, which I think we all can agree is the best when it comes to horror.

What isn’t the best is when you have a horror movie figured out in the first 10 minutes and then you have nothing to do for the remainder of the 2 hours. Yes, 2 hours. This week’s Not That was stretched 110 minutes too long and I sat through all of them. Netflix’s Things Heard and Seen features Amanda Seyfried who plays Catherine, a wife who’s given up her life to support the ambitions of her douche husband.

Right off the bat, we’re given insight that there’s something wrong in their marriage: Catherine has an eating disorder. That revelation is immediately followed by another one: Catherine’s husband George (James Norton) has a wandering eye.

Pretty soon, haunted things start happening. A rocking chair moves on its own. Their daughter sees a ghost lady. Catherine smells gas fumes. All of this freaks Catherine out, but then her husband’s colleague explains that it’s NBD, just a woman ghost who’s got her back. Empowered by her supernatural backup, she starts to make her way out of her shitty marriage. During the time she’s getting her groove back, she discovers that her husband is a liar, stole his cousin’s identity, is a cheater, and then also he commits a bunch of murder.

But, surprise!, the ghost men of the house are shit too. Just as Catherine learns everything that’s bad about George and is about to make her move, George drugs her. And, surprise again!, the lady ghost (whose real/ghost name is Ella) can’t help her because of her dick ex-husband ghost. So George kills Catherine. Then he gets away with it because he’s a man. But then he rides off into the ocean and gets killed by the devil? I’m not sure. It doesn’t matter.

What does matter is I sat on my couch rolling my eyes for 2 hours proving that good horror movies are hard to come by, disproving that your eyes will get stuck that way. If you want to try it for yourself then watch Things Heard and Seen. Not responsible for loss of vision or interest.

Photo by screenrant.com

Adventures in Senior-Sitting: When Spring Break Goes Bad

I’m not sure what traumatized me into never wanting kids. Maybe it was realizing that kids equaled zero fun time. Or, that you had to be responsible for them forever. Or maybe it was something my grandma said: “your kids will be 3 times as bad as you.” No thanks. I was a nightmare, so bad that I didn’t even start liking myself until I was 30. I don’t need “younger me” amplified. So I opted out of having kids. Karma, however, found me and opted me in like every e-newsletter I never signed up for.

As most of you know, I inherited a teenager in the form of my 66-year-old father-in-law and it’s been a real barrel of laughs. One after school special after the next.

About a month ago, my FIL was sick but like most kids that have plans for spring break, he wasn’t about to suffer from FOMO. So off he went to Daytona Bike Week, coughing and wheezing his way there. Upon settling in his camp spot, he realized that, uh oh, the cable box in his motorhome wasn’t working. You see, the cable company didn’t shut off his box in his RV when he cancelled his subscription prior to moving in with us. They ended up fixing the glitch and it worked itself out on day 1 of his vacation.

Well, you know kids and their screens. He was so desperate for television he tried to get a box added to MY account (which I actually consider payback for the time I added my own land line to my parents account without permission). When the cable company declined, he called my husband and asked him to MAIL HIM THE BOX FROM HIS BEDROOM. We did not.

He managed to survive his lack of Matlock reruns however, when he arrived home there was something else that he was suffering from.

Yes. He came home with the VID.

And so began the great sickness of 2021. He was coughing non-stop and had zero energy, but he was pushing through. Now, if you asked every friend that he miraculously found the energy to call while he was being quarantined, he was on his death bed. Each night was sure to be his last. He couldn’t lift his head without going comatose from exhaustion. He could only breathe once an hour.

And eating? Forget it. If it wasn’t KFC he couldn’t keep it down, which I don’t remember reading on the CDC website so I suppose they’re due for an update. At one point I had my husband ask him if he needed anything from the grocery store. Grapes and orange juice was his request. Did my husband ask my FIL or my 3-year-old niece because that’s totally something she’d want as a snack.

A week into his illness, things took a turn in a matter of 2 phone calls. That morning my husband checked in on him and informed me my FIL was feeling a little better. Less than an hour later, my husband received a call from one of his dad’s friends. Apparently, he was about to die and another friend was on the way to our house to take him to the hospital, which didn’t make sense to me because I work from home so why wouldn’t he ask me?

So I call my FIL to find out what the deal is and was pretty surprised by how terrible he sounded. What also surprised me was that he actually did not have a friend coming to take him to the hospital. He ended up asking me if I would take him but I suggested calling an ambulance which he agreed to.

A few minutes later I could hear sirens so I went outside to flag them down. Outside I could no longer hear the sirens but I could hear something else: “I guess they missed our house, hee hee.” I turned around and there stood my FIL, giggling. “What the fuck are you doing out here?!” I yelled. I’ve just told 911 that my FIL is on the outs and here he is practically dancing in his driveway.

I. Was. Mortified.

As soon as the paramedics got out of the ambulance I began telling them MY side of the story: he tricked me. They check him out and nothing. Nothing is wrong with him. Are you sure? I asked them. There’s nothing in that ambulance that you can shove down his throat?

No.

The paramedics loaded back into the ambulance and by the time I turned around to ask my FIL “what the fuck was that?!” he was already back inside. That was the last I heard from him for about a week. I didn’t check on him because I didn’t have to. Our neighbor kept me in the know. She also informed me that, according to my FIL, he in fact was dying that day and had the paramedics not given him oxygen for the 3 minutes that they did, it would’ve been over.

This story of almost seeing the light has made its rounds and every time I hear it he was nearer and nearer death. Not long after standing at the pearly gates, he recovered.

BTW, it isn’t lost on me that I once put my mom through a similar situation. When I was in 6th grade I experienced a level of embarrassment I’d never felt before after I tripped over a pipe in front of about 30 kids (out of a class of almost 500). 30 may as well have been everyone. I couldn’t take it. So I faked being sick for about a week and a half before my mom finally took me to the doctor where I was outed as a fraud and had to go back to school.

The moral of the story is I was terrible well into my 20s and my comparisons to my FIL are only up to 11-year-old me so I’ve got a lot more of this shit to go.

Review: Girl With No Job | Claudia Oshry

I think the goal of just about everyone is to eventually become a person with no job, living comfortably without a care in the world aside from future plagues, a failed economy, unreasonable living prices, American Idol being renewed for 40 more seasons, and the possibility of running out of retirement money before dying. Thanks to the rise of the “influencer”, this is the goal for just about everyone aged 12 and up. But if you’re thinking that reading Girl With No Job by Claudia Oshry will give you insight as to how to make that happen, don’t bother. I’ll just tell you…

She was already rich. Yes, the Girl With No Job didn’t have to have one, so she spent all her time creating (but primarily repurposing) content on her Instagram and voilá, she became an influencer and even wealthier. Unfortunately, her knack for reposting other peoples memes (which I didn’t realize was considered a “talent”) does not translate when it comes to writing books.

First, Claudia has lived a privileged 26 years which doesn’t really afford much in the storytelling department. With the exception of the tragic passing of her father, there’s not much substance to anything in this book. She literally has a chapter on the types of fans. Not the ones with blades (hopefully), the kind that follow you on social media. She even breaks them down into categories. It’s mind-numbing.

She talks about how famous she is and how ahead of her time she was and how she was cutting edge for having a blog in 2013, something everyone with a MySpace account in 2005 had. She also wants you to know she’s funny. In fact, she reminds you that she’s funny in every chapter of the book, although she doesn’t actually tell any jokes in her book to substantiate her claims (unless you count the Lindsay Lohan reference she makes in chapter 5 to which my response is “um, 2009 called…”).

She also talks about the time she got canceled thanks to her failed mention that her mother is a right-wing conspiracy theorist – something she didn’t really need to mention, quite frankly. What does it matter who her mother is? That shouldn’t be the reason you abandon her. The reason should be that she’s openly admitted to having a hatred for reading and now she has a book that she also openly admits is because she has an audience to sell it to (let that sink in for a minute all of my fellow aspiring authors).

The worst part? It’s horrendously written. Think of all the tricks you used in middle school to make your essay longer. That’s this. Bigger font. Repeat sentences that are just restructured. Reading this book is like having a conversation with someone you have nothing in common with because you like a lot of different things and they only like themselves. It reads as though it was dictated by Siri onto a Google doc.

Aside from the fact that she’s one of the hundreds of Instagram accounts that reposts other people’s memes, I knew nothing about Claudia and now, I still don’t. If I’m going off of this book then I have to say there’s just not much to her. And even then, I can see that there’s a market for this shit. She’s living the dream of anyone trying to become “Internet famous”. If that’s you, you’ll probably like this book as you’ll get to fantasize what your life will be like if you “make it”. If that’s not you, anything with a reading level of 2nd grade and up will be better than Girl With No Job.

But what do I know? I’m a Geek With an Actual Job Who’s Writing This For Free. Book probably not coming soon. Size 12 font.

Review: I Want to Be Where the Normal People Are | Rachel Bloom

I don’t have much of a review since I read this 100 months ago and am just now getting to it. Here is my review: this book is good, you should read it. I didn’t know anything about Rachel Bloom until Barnes & Noble kept reminding me she had a book. So I bought it, and loved it. Read this book if you haven’t yet.

Next Review: Girl With No Job by Claudia Oshry and it’ll be longer than a few sentences.

You’ve shown me nothing

The other day, a friend of mine was in town and stopped by for a visit. I was incredibly happy to see her given the fact that it had been a little over 5 months since our last get together. This time however, she had her 4-year-old with her. This was a problem for 2 reasons:

First, my house is not kid-friendly and, 2) neither am I. I don’t dislike all kids, you understand. Just the ones that are very self-absorbed. You know the type: always asking you for things and always wanting you to witness their latest “trick”.

This one was extra Mariah Carey that day. He started off by calling me Jem, very “I don’t know her” of him. But I actually liked that 80s cartoon so I didn’t correct him. It wouldn’t have mattered, though, because getting my name wrong wasn’t the problem. Saying it ad nauseam was.

“Jem. Jem. Jem. Hey Jem. Look Jem.” What could possibly be of that much importance, he’s only 4. It went like this for the next hour, each question and proclamation more nails on a chalkboard than the last.

He began by pointing out the Xbox controller on my coffee table. “Hey Jem, is that an Xbox controller? I like Xbox.” Me too, I replied. “Can I play your Xbox, Jem?” I’m sorry but no he could not. I’m currently playing Evil Within 2 and my score is logged online and I don’t need some overactive toddler making me appear to not know how to survive a zombie invasion.

Could I have switched out the games? Sure, but all of my games are zombie games and I don’t like to share and my husband just has Madden, which I know nothing about, and Grand Theft Auto, which I’m sure my friend wouldn’t have enjoyed watching her son murder a hooker because he doesn’t want to pay her. Even I know that.

The requests continued. “Hey Jem, let’s go look outside.” “Hey Jem, can I take the duck out of your pool?” “Hey Jem, what happens if I throw rocks in your pool?” “Hey Jem, is that your bedroom? I’m going to jump on your bed!” “Hey Jem, can I eat the pizza in your fridge?”

Oh. My. God. I genuinely can’t remember the conversation between my friend and I because he interrupted every 30 seconds like a goddamn egg timer. Not even cartoons kept him quiet. He was jumping on the couch, running around everywhere. One interruption after another.

Then he said, “hey Jem, check this out!” and did some weird leg shuffle. What did I just check out? The answer is nothing. You’ve shown me nothing and now I know why Simon Cowell is such a jerk on those talent shows.

It reminded me of the time my friend’s then 13-year-old was on an I-can-do-anything kick. One day she showed me a video of herself strumming a ukulele and proudly proclaimed “look, I can play the ukulele!” Can you play any songs, I asked. No. Do you know any chords? No. So I kindly explained to her that she, in fact, could not play the ukulele because strumming it was not playing it and she should stop telling people that she could. She has since quit (or never actually got started if we’re being technical) the ukulele.

I didn’t tell this 4-year-old that his little shuffle was garbage, I know you were wondering. Instead, I looked away so he would go do something else. And that, my friends, is how I know I’m maturing. I’m 37.

Dreams Do Come True: Part 2

If you or someone you know is currently trying to change their life by being more positive and letting the past go via Instagram posts or a 25-year-old life coach, this story is for you.

First, the backstory. It all started when a bunch of grown assholes ruined my childhood dream of meeting the Green Power Ranger (you can read about it here if you need to get caught up).

You see? Assholes. Anyway, I stopped being mad about it a few weeks ago and it’s because… I finally met the Green Power Ranger. I’d been waiting for this day since I was 8. Yes, since I was 8. For 29 years I’ve imagined what our meeting would be like. When I was 8, I thought he would ask me if I wanted to be an honorary Power Ranger (the brown one I’m guessing since I’m part Mexican and they were color-coordinated back then. Go ahead. Google it. See?)

As an adult, I thought he would still make me an honorary Power Ranger. Or at least feature me in his IG stories. Here’s what actually happened.

I arrived at 11am ready for my one-on-one time with him, ready to hear him laugh about my vendetta and tell me how cool I am. By the way, all of my daydreams include someone telling me how cool I am. Anyway, at noon, the time the event was supposed to start, he’d yet to arrive which was not cool. By this time, a crowd of people had gathered outside and I was starting to have flashbacks of McDonald’s. Immediately I thought, “oh my god, he’s outside doing kicks and I’m going to miss him again.”

Fortunately, we now have social media and based on his IG stories, he was stuck in traffic, driving while staring at himself in his phone. My competition was no longer tall people crowding around me. It was Instagram Live.

He did manage to avoid a fiery wreckage and make it to the event, where he walked in wearing a mask and a hat. Look, I’m not a poet. I can’t just look into someone’s eyes and know it’s them, not unless I can see their entire face. On top of that he was a little frantic, probably because he was over 45 minutes late to the event he watched himself drive to.

After he pulled himself and merchandise together, I got my shot. I introduced myself, told him about the McDonald’s event, reminded him about the email, and….. nothing. He had a meet and greet to do and as far as he was concerned, I needed to take a number and retell him that story when it was my turn. He headed towards the door and I stopped him: I was getting that picture. He obliged but was still wearing his hat and mask.

He may as well have been wearing his Power Rangers helmet. This was a mountain of bullshit that was about to get bigger. Because my friends were nice enough to give me free access to the event, I volunteered when Jason’s assistant asked for help with it.

In an ironic twist of fate, my job was to photograph Jason David Frank AKA Tommy the Green Power Ranger with other fans. This was nothing like the scenarios I’d made up in my head.

The only thing weirder than how this was turning out was his fans. Oh my god. If you thought I was mental, you should’ve seen these people. A few of them showed up with the Power Ranger sword for him to sign, which made me think of Step Brothers – you’re not going to not get Randy Jackson’s autograph.

One lady showed up with what looked like a normal reusable grocery bag but what turned out to be a clown car of memorabilia. It was like that scarf trick where they never quit coming out of the pocket. 2 people came in dressed up as the White Power Ranger.

One guy showed up, had Jason sign all the crap he brought, walked out, came back in, asked Jason for his mask, walked out, came back in, asked me to ask Jason to sign the mask, walked out, came back in and handed me a brown bag that he claimed to contain Jason’s favorite candy and asked me to give it to him which I did not because I’m not trying to go to jail for spreading Covid or anthrax.

A super fan came in and asked Jason why Zordon couldn’t help the Green Power Ranger to which Jason replied, “it was in the script, man.” Touché. All of these people by the way, were well into their 30s like me except my infatuation was inspired by revenge, not insanity. The most normal people were the fans in their 20s.

In total there were maybe 7 kids that attended the event, none of which missed their opportunity to meet him. Yet another struggle they will never understand.

At about 4 the event finally wrapped up. I was over it. Up until that point I’d gotten my picture and you couldn’t even tell it was him.

BUT…

After the event ended, he took his mask off, and finally, FINALLY, I got my picture.

So there you have it. A true story about dreams coming true thanks to staying angry. So don’t give up on your negativity just yet. The possibilities are endless as to where your anger will take you, like to a warehouse to meet a child star from the 90s and his weird fans. #winning